Twenty-five lucky winners and their guests found themselves surrounded by 13 picturesque acres of rustic urban farmland, incredible food, refreshing drinks, good music, and great company during an evening at Churchview Farm last week. This one-of-a-kind experience was the grand prize of a contest Sustainable Pittsburgh hosted throughout the month of July, dubbed “Graze.” To enter the contest, diners were encouraged to eat at designated Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurants and share their experiences on social media.
On the evening of the dinner, guests were escorted up the gravel drive by a friendly family of turkeys and were greeted on the lawn with a welcome cocktail. From there they mingled about the farm and listened to the bluegrass jams of The Beagle Brothers while waiting for local chefs to create what was truly one of the most unique dinner experiences of the summer. Chefs Neil Blazin of Driftwood Oven, Bill Fuller of big Burrito Restaurant Group, Jessica Lewis of Spirits & Tales, and Elsa Santos of Azorean Café, all representing designated Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurants, came together to create an 8-course meal centered around Churchview Farm produce—harvested just moments before guests arrived!
Through Graze, the Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurant program highlights restaurants that are making strides to foster a more sustainable food system through building vibrant communities and a healthy environment. With nearly 150 designated restaurants, restaurant goers can choose from all price points and cuisines while being able to make dining decisions that align with their personal values.
The restaurant industry is, without a doubt, a huge piece of the region’s economic development and a catalyst for social equity and environmental health. Many restaurants are making efforts to reduce their waste, water, and energy consumption, source local ingredients and offer healthy menu options, treat employees in an equitable manner, and positively engage with their communities. These restaurants are focused on implementing changes that will positively impact the region for years to come.